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Math Science

Humans Hard-wired for Geometry 235

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pythagoras-notwithstanding dept.
hcg50a writes "An article on MSNBC reports that, according to a new study, even if you never learned the difference between a triangle, a rectangle and a trapezoid, and you never used a ruler, a compass or a map, you would still do well on some basic geometry tests, because we are hard-wired for geometry, rather than learning it from teachers or cultural influences."
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Humans Hard-wired for Geometry

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  • old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Snafoo (38566) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @12:46PM (#14526617) Homepage
    Kant figured this out back in the mid-nineteenth century. He proved that spatial and temporal conception is a prerequisite of consciousness.

    Not that anyone except the five people that made it through the 'Transcendental Deduction' noticed, however.

  • by mightybaldking (907279) <mightybaldking@gmail.com> on Saturday January 21, 2006 @01:40PM (#14526953) Journal
    Please don't open that can of worms! I hold the view that anything other than the natural number system (Integers greater than zero) is invented. However, people far more educated than I have been arguing [google.com] this for centuries.
  • Re:old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by $carab (464226) on Saturday January 21, 2006 @01:59PM (#14527058) Journal
    Kant figured this out back in the mid-nineteenth century...

    Kant [wikipedia.org] died in 1804.
  • Re:Seen in kids, too (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vegeta99 (219501) <rjlynnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday January 21, 2006 @05:12PM (#14528050)
    I;m a Human Development & Family Studies major - Social worker major, basically (For me, it's pre law)

    The really interesting thing that they're demonstrating is "Object Permenance" - Younger infants do not know that when an object leaves their point of view that it still exists! IIRC, they get that starting around 9 months. When it happens, it's sudden - one week the kid doesn't care, the next minute, "Huh?! Where'd it go?!" Even your attachment to your own mother wasn't there from the very start! You know your parents voices in the womb, but not your attachment to them as your caregiver - that's 1 month.

    One thing you don't get until a lot later is conservation. That is, the ability to tell that changing a group of object's shape or size doesn't change its contents. That is, a 4 year old kid would tell you that when you pour water from a short glass into a tall glass, you got more water somehow. However, a 7 year old child will look at you like you're an idiot and tell you they're both the same, water can't come from nowhere!

    Human Development is such an interesting subject, but too bad it never leads to much more than $30,000 salary...

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